Days after a Texas couple welcomed their newborn baby girl, tragedy struck them as they lost their daughter to a cold sore virus.
Emerson Faye was born on July 26 and died just 12 days later after she contracted the Herpes simplex virus from someone kissing her.
Now, her devastated parents, Presley and Elias Trejo, are urging people to "stop kissing babies which aren't yours". The couple from Fort Worth, Texas, who have two older boys, wrote an emotional post on Facebook that has been shared over 200,000 times. Presley wrote: "Emerson ended up passing away from what is called the HSV-1 virus. It's the Herpes Simplex Virus most commonly known as the cold sore virus or the 'kiss of death' for infants."
She further wrote: "For adults, it's not a big deal. But for infants with little to no immune system, it's fatal. When someone who has the virus in their system and kisses an infant it can spread rapidly."
The mother described how the virus slowly attacked her daughter's brain first and spread to her body. She added that by the time the little girl was taken to hospital, her liver had failed.
Presley further wrote on Facebook: "Everything was failing. She was having multiple seizures until she was brain dead. Her heart stopped beating and the only thing that kept her alive were machines. My daughter was on life support and I had to be the one to pull the plug on her life."
Presley hopes that her warning will raise awareness about the spread of virus through kissing and touching babies. Telling people to wash hands when around newborns, she wrote: "I have seen stories about other infants passing from this same virus but you never think it's going to happen to you. Well this time, it did. My babies don't have their sister and my husband and I lost our only little girl."
The Herpes simplex virus causes painful blisters on the mouth or genitals, and is a chronic, long-term condition. There are two types of the virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2 and both types can cause cold sores on the mouth, genital herpes, and whitlows (small abscesses) on the fingers and hands. Infants are more prone to contracting neonatal herpes because of their still-developing immune systems, according to reports in Mirror.